Jewish settlers, on Saturday, severely assaulted a Palestinian child near one of the gates leading to Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, in the Old City of Jerusalem.Witnesses at the scene reported that extremist Israeli settlers assaulted the child, who was not identified, near al-Ghawanma Gate, prompting a group of Palestinians to intervene and save him. Settlers eventually managed to flee the scene.
This came as Jewish settlers performed Talmudic rituals in front of King Faisal Gate and al-Qattanin Gate, urging large numbers of Palestinian Muslims from the Old City to gather in the area before being dispersed by Israeli police.
The performance of these rituals by Jewish settlers came following calls made by right-wing Jewish organizations, which urged settlers to storm the holy site to mark the ‘destruction of the Temple’.
WAFA Palestinian News & Info Agency reports that Jewish settler groups, known as ‘Temple Mount’ organizations, recently urged all Jewish settlers to storm the holy site to mark Tisha B’Av Day, a Jewish holiday commemorating the ‘destruction of the temple’.
Tisha B’Av, which means “the ninth of the month of Av’, commences on Saturday, July 25 and ends on Sunday 26. This day is marked by fasting and mourning by Jews to commemorate what they believe was the destruction of the temples that stood in the place of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. They also pray on this day for the rebuilding of the ‘temple’ in this spot.
These organizations have presented an appeal signed by 1,000 Israelis to both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, demanding that Al-Aqsa Mosque be open for Jews via the Moroccan Gate round the clock starting Sunday 26 July until the end of the week.
The organizations reportedly demanded that Al-Aqsa be entirely closed to Muslims starting Saturday evening and all day Sunday. They also requested the holy site to be closed to Muslims during proposed provocative Israeli visit hours from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. from Monday to Thursday next week.
The organizations also demanded that Jews entering the mosque’s compound on Sunday would be allowed to pray freely inside, and that groups entering the compound from Monday to Thursday would be allowed to enter the Qabali and Marwani mosques inside of the Al-Aqsa compound.
According to a 1967 agreement the Israeli authorities made after occupying Jerusalem, only Muslim Palestinians are allowed in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound while Jewish prayer is allowed at the Western Wall next door.
However, in recent months the right-wing Jewish groups who have previously called for the destruction of the Mosque and the construction of a Jewish temple on the site have repeatedly entered the area under heavy police escort.
The visits, combined with proposals for a Knesset vote to divide the site between Jews and Muslims, have outraged the Palestinian public, which sees the encroachment on Al-Aqsa as symptomatic of the wider denial of their rights in historic Palestine as well as intense discrimination in housing, employment, and social services by Israeli authorities.
The compound, which sits just above the Western Wall plaza, houses both the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque and is the third holiest site in Islam.
It is also venerated as Judaism’s most holy place as it sits where Jews believe the First and Second Temples once stood.
Al-Aqsa is located in East Jerusalem, a part of the internationally recognized Palestinian territories that have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.
The site has been at the heart of unrest in recent months as Palestinian protester took to the streets over frequent and increasing Jewish visitors to the holy compound.
Palestinians worry that if Jewish visitors were allowed to pray in the holy al-Aqsa Mosque’s yards daily, it would eventually lead to a permanent change, which will result in full Israeli control and ban on Muslims’ entry and prayer.
The fear stems from ongoing Israeli policy which prevents Palestinians living in the West Bank from obtaining permits to enter Jerusalem to pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque and many restrictions on Jerusalemites’ entrance to the compound, including holding their identity cards until they leave the Mosque.
Settlers’ provocative visits to the holy site have given rise to mass protests in the holy city in recent months, during which hundreds of Palestinians were apprehended by Israeli police.
See also: 02/11/25 Israeli Municipality Hangs “Temple Mount” Sign near Al-Aqsa